Sunday, December 21, 2008

Belt Hook

I finished this piece recently. It's in the shape of a Chinese belt hook- an accessory used in ancient times to fasten one's belt or cloak. The stud on the base would fit into a hole or slit in the belt, and the curved hook part would latch to the other side. They were made out of bronze, iron or stone; typically jade. They run the spectrum from ornately gilt and inlaid pieces, to ones that seem to be purely functional. Wanting to develop a narrative with this piece, I chose a cat-like beast on one end with rabbit or hare on the other. It measures 3 1/4 in. (8 cm) long and is carved from mountain mahogany, with a light wash of verdigris pigment to suggest some age and patina.

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